In day to day life, it is normal to label ourselves by what we perceive. You develop a sense of your limitations and your potential. But what happens when a close friend associates you with a characteristic or label you’ve never considered?

I received the letter below from a friend of mine and I found myself challenging my own perceptions and thinking about how others view me.

A letter from a friend

Hi Bill,

I want you to know I finally finished reading your book last night and truly enjoyed it.
I think your good friend Jim Emery summed you up well by saying he and your other friends never considered you handicapped!  Both Sharon and I have always shared that feeling about you as well.  While your parents, Aunt Mickey and other family and friends served as a great support network to enable you to continually succeed by not only trying new things, but by being accomplished at them as well; it is your own inner strength and perseverance, complimented by your high degree of self assurance and confidence that enabled you to become the person you are today.

I always admired your parents and would have loved to have met your Aunt Mickey. While they were your main support group and enablers, you still had to have the will to succeed on your own and that you did and did it well!

I remain proud to be your friend.  The book didn’t change my positive impressions of you throughout our days together at Phi Gamma Delta or later at GE, but enabled me to better understand how you became the great guy you are!

Warm regards,


So now what? Working through your self-perceptions

Throughout my life I have constantly challenged different boxes society tried to put me in. I share this with you to get you thinking. How do you perceive yourself? Do you feel stuck with a label that is holding you back? In what ways can you grow your own inner strength and confidence?